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Parkdale Rent Strike Heating Up

Parkdale Rent Strike Heating Up

By Sahar Ashraf On June 1, Parkdale community members expanded their rent strike against property management company MetCap Living. Tenants from six Parkdale buildings protesting above-the-guideline rent increases (AGIs) have convinced their neighbors in an additional six buildings to join the strike this month. Parkdale Organize, an organization of activists from the neighbourhood, has captured

MetCap’s Mismanagement of 25 Cougar Court

By Shafiqullah Aziz & Sara Jaffri Residents of 25 Cougar Court are desperately in need of repairs in their building. The 20-storey building near the intersection of Markham and Eglinton is managed by MetCap Living. Management has consistently neglected the property, but is petitioning for a rent increase that is above provincial standards. Disgruntled tenants

Ontario’s Unfair Housing Plan

by Steve da Silva This past April, the provincial government has finally made what appears to be a serious intervention into southern Ontario’s housing crisis. On April 20, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals announced sixteen new measures and regulations in their ‘Fair Housing Plan.’ Renters in Toronto have been clamouring for measures to restrict landlord abuses and

Rent Strike! Parkdale v. MetCap

By Sahar Ashraf Parkdale residents are fighting back against their buildings’ management company, MetCap Living, and calling for a community wide rent strike on May 1. Tenants living in MetCap buildings are demanding an immediate improvement to their living conditions and an end to illegitimate rent increases. MetCap manages a total of 19 buildings in

Ontario’s ‘Rent Control’ Bait-and-Switch

By Steve da Silva Renters and prospective home buyers in Toronto await an official announcement from the Ontario Liberal government on how the province plans to take action on runaway rents and rapidly inflated property values. But based on what sources in the government have already released to the Toronto Star, there is little cause

Pink Saris and Bake Sales: The High School NGO Trap

By Priya Rabindranath Ad spaces in the TTC have recently been plastered with images of dejected brown and black girls captioned “Give child marriage the middle finger”.  These posters are part of a campaign organized by Plan International, one of numerous NGOs operating with local branches in Canada. Plan has multiple subsidiary organizations, including Because I

What You Need to Know about Toronto’s New Landlord Licensing Program

By Nooria Alam and Harshita Singh During the summer of 2016, Basics’ members attended public consultation meetings held by the City of Toronto to discuss the proposed Landlord Licensing program. The results and feedback of those public consultations were compiled online and used to guide what the final policy would look like. Though the Landlord

Will University and College Really be Free in 2017?

By Sahar Ashraf Students attending college or university in the fall of 2017 can expect to get larger grants than ever before through OSAP. The Ontario government has promised “free tuition” to students from low-income families through the Ontario Student Grant (OSG). The Ontario Student Grant comes after decades of cutbacks to the funding of

Organizing for Better Homes and Beyond

By Nooria Alam and Harshita Singh On Saturday January 14th, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) organized a “Scarborough Tenant Speak Out” action in 215 Markham Road, bringing many frustrated tenants down to the lobby of their Markham and Eglinton area building. The group of tenants created a list of demands regarding

Easy Prey for Easyhome

Rent-to-Own Companies Exploit Working Class Communities By Sara Jaffri “Leasing makes it easy to own what you want! Your life your way!” reads a sign at the local Markham and Eglinton Easyhome store. The company’s Scarborough location is stocked with televisions, refrigerators, sofa sets and cell phones that can be rented for low weekly prices

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